Investment Fraud in Cleveland: Thomas Pleads Guilty
Raymond Thomas pled guilty last Tuesday to one count of mail fraud and one count of falsifying a tax return, according to a July 7 The News-Herald article. The U.S. District Court in Cleveland had charged Thomas on June 3.
Thomas admitted to operating an $889,000 investment scheme that victimized approximately 25 people. A former Warrensville Heights police officer, the 49-year-old Thomas allegedly defrauded family, friends and colleagues by claiming his business ventures would provide investors with a high rate of return.
According to U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach as quoted by The News-Herald, Thomas promised: 1) that anyone who invested in Strictly Stocks Investment Co., (one of his three business ventures) would receive an "above average fixed return with below average risk," 2) that the investors' money would be placed in whichever business they chose, and 3) that investors' money would not be used for any other purpose.
In fact, Thomas violated all three promises, according to the July 7 article. He comingled funds, he used investor money for personal purposes and to make payments to previous investors, and he defrauded investors out of their money.
The Court has scheduled his sentencing for Sept. 23.